Miami Police and Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the accident on Northwest 54th Street, near Fifth Avenue, just after 5:15 am on Saturday, April 11.
Surveillance footage from the Bawa Food Market captured a white 2-door sedan traveling at a high rate of speed, striking a woman. The driver of the vehicle did not stop, leaving the woman's body on the road.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, officials reporting that there was no way anybody could have survived this type of impact. Police put a BOLO (Be on the Look Out) for the offending vehicle, and shortly after that, the Miami-Dade Police Department stopped the vehicle at Northeast 163rd Street and 15th Avenue in North Miami Beach. The 1987 Oldsmobile had a shattered windshield and dried blood on the fender.
Police identified the driver as 29-year-old Gustavo Sanchez, who was clearly intoxicated. Sanchez was handcuffed and put in a police cruiser, facing hit-and-run and DUI manslaughter charges. He is being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $150,000 bond.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics in Miami
About 1 in 3 traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher are considered alcohol-impaired by law. Among drivers and pedestrians killed in crashes in 2013, drivers of large trucks had the lowest proportion of BACs at or above 0.08% (4%) and pedestrians ages 16, and older had the highest proportion (36%). You can read the effects of BACs below by clicking on the image to zoom in.
25% of passenger vehicle drivers killed in 2013 had BACs at or above 0.15% compared with 17% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers. Among fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers in the same year, a higher proportion of males than females had BACs at or above 0.08% at every age. Overall, 38% of males and 21% of females had BACs at or above 0.08%.
What You Need to Know about Florida Drunk Driving Laws
The legal limit in Florida is .08 and driving with a blood-alcohol level more than .08 can result in a DUI conviction. Drunk drivers can face fines between $250 and $500, up to 50 hours of community service, probation, license revocation and imprisonment for a maximum of 6 months. Other laws in Florida include the following:
- first offenders are often eligible to complete an alcohol treatment program instead of imprisonment
- each additional DUI conviction increases the penalties
- following a second conviction, all drivers are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle
- a third conviction carries mandatory imprisonment for 30 days
- a fourth conviction will result in the driver license being suspended for life
Commercial drivers can be charged with DUI if they have a blood-alcohol level of .04 and for underage drivers, the BAC limit is .02.
What Damages Can I Recover following a DUI Accident in Miami?
Unfortunately, not all drunk driving accident victims enjoy a fair and full settlement, although they are legally entitled to it. Giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster or signing a fast and cheap settlement before consulting an experienced auto accident attorney is often a costly mistake. If you have been involved in an alcohol-impaired driving accident, you entitled to monetary compensation that covers:
- medical expenses including hospital bills, surgery costs, long-term medical care, and rehabilitation therapy
- present and future lost wages
- property damage
- pain and suffering
It is highly important to refrain from giving statements to insurance companies, as you may unknowingly minimize your chance for a fair settlement. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we can accurately analyze the circumstances of your case and advise you on the best course of action, following a drunk driving accident. There is a series of documents you should bring along:
- copy of statements given to the insurance company
- copy of the accident report
- copy of your insurance policy
- copy of your medical records
- copy of your pay records
- copy of your psychological reports if the accident had an emotional impact
- evidence of insurance premium payments
- pictures taken at the scene of the accident or with your injuries
- the other party's name and phone number
- tickets related to the accident
How Can Miami Lawyer Sean M. Cleary Help?
Drunk driving accident victims in Miami need a personal injury attorney to file a claim and pursue compensation. Our staff has zero tolerance for drivers who operate their vehicles on public roads under the influence. We offer quality legal representation and aggressive advocacy to help our clients recover monetary damages. Call us at 305.416.9805 for a free consultation and representation in your case.